Feds File Against Florida Sports Betting Stay

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Florida sports betting

The US Department of the Interior filed Monday a response in opposition to West Flagler Associates’ motion to stay the mandate in the ongoing Florida sports betting case. 

The DC Circuit Court of Appeals can now make its Florida sports betting ruling at any time.  

West Flagler technically now has seven days to respond (Oct. 2.) However, the court could rule before that.

Next in Florida sports betting case

Legal experts expect the West Flagler’s stay to be denied, setting up an emergency injunction with the Supreme Court

It remains unclear as to when the Seminole Tribe of Florida will be able to relaunch legal online sports betting in Florida via the Hard Rock Bet app. 

The Seminole Tribe could choose to wait to see what happens with all court proceedings before relaunch, so as to avoid another shutdown as in 2021.

What DOI said in its response

The DOI wrote in its response: 

“A stay is not warranted, because any such petition could present no substantial question for Supreme Court review. This Court reached a narrow, case-specific holding about the meaning of particular language in one particular Compact under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (“IGRA”). 

“Its decision makes explicitly clear that the Compact does not purport to—and as a matter of law, could not—authorize the gaming activities outside Indian land that West Flagler believes are illegal, and that West Flagler’s dispute is instead with the Florida law that does authorize those activities. 

“West Flagler’s assertion that this Court’s opinion nevertheless raises questions of exceptional importance rests on the same misreading of the opinion advanced in its unsuccessful petition for rehearing en banc. The motion should be denied.”

Will Florida case reach Supreme Court?

If its Supreme Court attempt fails, West Flagler could attempt to go through the state courts. It then could argue that expanded gambling is in violation of the Florida Constitution

If West Flagler does manage to obtain the stay, it would be in place until the Supreme Court decides whether or not to take the case, though it could be longer if SCOTUS were to vote to hear the case. 

The expectation is West Flagler will file a petition with the Supreme Court in their 90-day window which began on Sept. 11